Archive for September 14th, 2010

Sabratha Coliseum after dark

A sandstorm blew in, disrupting the nights planned event and requiring all to seek shelter. The Sabratha Coliseum is a nexus for primal elemental energies, and any large expenditures of power can cause strange occurrences. This storm threatened to turn into one such storm, but luckily, it blew itself away in the middle of the night, giving the party a chance to rest from their exertions of the day before. Their rest was again disturbed by the bells of the belgoi, but this ended abruptly in the middle of the night as the strange door in the far wall of the slave pens burst open.

In swaggered a group of intoxicated, arrogant shadow eladrin, ready for their chance to claim the Sabratha for the Night realms. They were led by a Shadow Witch who also happened to be a former flame princess. Her hair was dyed flame red and it clashed with her undying white flesh. She was madness itself and she laughed at Sharia and told her she would scalp her and wear her hair before the night was out. Behind her marched two ladies in spike leather harness and wielding great swords. and behind them came the dread green arcanians, eladrin who follow the forbidden path of arcane magic in their short youths often return to haunt the night as green arcanians, and these freaks carried nothing but a glowing green orb, dripping with thick acidic goo. Finally an elite blade master followed up to stand next to the witch, Cryzlyx. He was shirtless and carried nothing but a bronze short sword, which he tossed from hand to hand.

Ocham the one-eyed elf peddler was taking bets up top, and he soon called the match. Even though it was the middle of the night, huge crowds gathered into the stadium. The storm had brought many outlying groups into the city for shelter, and the news of the Sabratha games was spreading. The fight began, and the characters learned of the glories and infamies of arena combat.

Rules Break: I spent some time earlier in the week making two decks of cards. The green deck was the glory deck, and the red deck was the infamy deck. Whenever the first creature is bloodied and killed, the crowd goes wild earning the PC a glory card for each. Thereafter there is a 50 percent chance of earning a glory card each time an enemy is bloodied or killed. Rolling a crit will also earn a roll for earning glory, as will any other especially awesome thing to occur. Infamy cards are earned on natural 1s and when a pc is bloodied or knocked unconscious. The cards must be used in the match they are won in, though by earning 3 will allow a PC to carry one over to the next battle. Also 3 infamy cards will earn 1 glory card. This seemed to work great, though I need to come up with more than 9 effects. The cards glory cards also added up quickly, with 3 or 4 PCs earning 3 or more in a fight. Otherwise they were great, and their immediacy of use is one of the best aspects of them. I think it adds to the thrill of arena combat, it seemed to at least, but some tweaking is necessary.

After the shadow eladrin were soundly defeated and carried off the field in pieces a new day dawned, and a party was seen coming across the dunes towards the arena. They were a nomadic band of eladrin, and they had heard the call of the arena. This was their chance to become one with the cause of revolution as the White Rose sought to rebuild the glories of ancient Nazerak. This band of far travelers were the first of many lost eladrin tribes to hear the calling of the homeland. They wore robes of many colored fabrics the swirled in the winds as they came forward to request mortal combat in the Sabratha. The champions were happy to oblige.

The nomads took to the field. There were seven challengers, and the leader was a powerful Twilight Encanter with a spear. Behind him were 3 more spearmen arrayed in battle line, and behind them, were 3 more, who had scimitars trapped to their belts, but carried long bamboo blowguns. The was the fated Shaolin Eladrin Style, and it led off with the front line forming a dart of swirling colors out of psychic charm magic in the air above their hand. They launched these darts and then marched forward to engage with their long spears. Next the blow-gunners rushed forward, took to a knee and launched their barrage of magically enhanced darts. Meanwhile the Encanter sent his magic.

The sandy floor seemed to shift and bounce like it was the surface of a drum as the magic was expended during this battle, and as the first eladrin blood splashed into the sands, a giant whirlwind of sand and stone exploded out of the center of the flor and proceeded to bounce and careen randomly around the floor. Any time it came close to a gladiator, there was a chance they would be picked up and tossed dozens of feet away. The whirlwind was impervious to any damage and it rolled across the arena causing confusion and chaos.

The heroes were successful, and the foreign eladrin were defeated, only too happy to rejoin their shadowy cousins for the nights festivities.

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